Bill Maher says President Obama 'could absolutely lose' reelection
In a Friday interview, Maher, host of HBO's talk show "Real Time," explained to Show Tracker why he gave a gift of $1 million to a Super Pac that supports the president's reelection campaign. His decision came about, he said, after attending Grammy parties a couple weeks ago.
"All the liberals were talking about how the election is in the bag for Obama,” Maher recounted. But the election is competitive primarily in 12 states, he added. “He could absolutely lose. It's a different world than it was in 2008. We live in the age of the Super PACs. Unless the rich liberals get into the game, Obama will be horribly outspent. If if he is outspent, he stands a good chance of losing." Former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, each hoping to take on Obama eventually, are battling for the GOP presidential nomination.
Maher said he decided to help the pro-Obama group "partially out of fear -- fear of Santorum and Romney, watching the Republican field and the 20 debates they've had and the bubble of insanity they live in. Half the country is nuts, and Obama could very well lose. He may not have been the best president in his first term, but given the alternative, I feel there's a clear choice."
Of course, it also helps that “Real Time” returns with new episodes next week. Since disclosure rules are loose for Super PACs, Maher may not have needed to be identified. And his gift certainly didn’t have to be revealed publicly during an hourlong special, “CrazyStupidPolitics,” which was streamed live on Yahoo.com on Thursday night. Maher even brandished a gigantic prop check for the occasion.
Maher said the move was about principles more than PR. His bank account isn’t exactly A-list: "For me this hurts,” he said. “I'm not the kind of person who can toss around that kind of money and not feel it." But he hopes the donation will nudge liberals with far fatter pocketbooks.
"For years I've never done anything overtly political for either party,” he said, adding with a chuckle: "But c'mon. Who's kidding who at this point? It's not even close.... I decided to put my money where my mouth is."
What do you think of Maher's gift?
-- Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT) and Greg Braxton
Photo: Bill Maher explains why he's giving $1 million to a pro-Obama Super PAC. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times